Home » Alleged N4.8bn Fraud: Appeal Court to entertain Ibeto’s Appeal, September 19

Alleged N4.8bn Fraud: Appeal Court to entertain Ibeto’s Appeal, September 19


Except for any last-minute change, the Lagos State Division of the Court of Appeal presided over by Justice Muhammed Mustapha, will on September 19, 2024, entertain the Appeal instituted by the Chairman of Ibeto Energy Development Company, Chief Cletus Ibeto, challenging the jurisdiction of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, to try him over alleged fraud to the tune of N4.8 billion.

The Appellate Court arrived at the date, yesterday, to await the report of ongoing negotiations between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the defendant.

It would be recalled that the lower court, presided over by Justice Ismail Ijelu had issued a bench warrant against Chief Ibeto over his failure to appear before the court on several occasions to take his plea over his alleged involvement in fraud, despite repeated hearing notices served on him.

The anti-graft agency had specifically charged Chief Ibeto alongside his companies, Ibeto Energy Development Company and Odoh Holdings Limited, on a 10-count of conspiracy, fraud, forgery and fraudulent use of documents.

But not satisfied with the directive of Justice Ijelu, and the refusal of the court to hear his preliminary objection, Chief Ibeto filed an Appeal before the Court of Appeal, formulating seven grounds for appeal.

While proceedings lasted at the upper court, Justice Mustapha and other panel members of the Court of Appeal, which included Justice Abdullahi Mahmud Bayero and Justice Paul Bassi, suspended the enforcement of the bench warrant issued on November 3, 2023, against the Appellant by Justice Ijelu.

The Court of Appeal justices took the decision to suspend the arrest warrant after Ibeto’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and the EFCC’s counsel, Adebisi Adeniyi, informed the court that the parties are in the process of settling the matter and that the Appellant has refunded about N1.7 billion to the Commission.

Particularly addressing the upper court, Adeniyi hinted to the three-man panel that the Appellant had been making payments in line with the settlement proposal, so the EFCC felt that going ahead with the Appeal might not be appropriate.

The Commission’s lawyer hinted to the Court of Appeal that the matter had started ‘de novo’ before another lower court judge and the EFCC felt that the Appeal had become academic, and as such, the anti-graft agency had filed an affidavit showing the settlement and all that had transpired in the case so far.

In his response, Chief Olanipekun (SAN), confirmed that the parties are settling the matter in line with a Rivers State High Court judgment.

The SAN thereafter prayed to the Court of Appeal to set aside the bench warrant against his client.




Rainstorm destroys homes, schools, others in Osun community

Leave a Reply